It is always important to know what is going on in the world of COPD/Asthma, hence a weekly (at the minimum) posting of ‘Notes to Know about COPD/Asthma’ – because those of us battling the issue should always be up to date on what is going on, and that includes both the positives and the negatives of the COPD/Asthma life.
Here we share part one of a two-part set offering a discussion on the ‘Factors Associated with COPD Life Expectancy’.
Special Note – This writer takes his life seriously and anytime he can find an article about COPD and/or Asthma in which they discuss the life expectancy – he reads it, and thought enough of this one to share it. Besides with nine grandchildren, the writer feels he has a lot of reason to learn as much as he can about his chronic illness and how to battle it for the best.
So – here is part one, of a two-part set discussing COPD and the Factors with Life Expectancy.
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(The contents of this article, is a compilation from two articles detailing the same information.)
Factors Associated with COPD Life Expectancy
We know that COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is a progressive disease known for resulting in damage to the lungs that gets worse over time, making it more difficult to breath. COPD is actually the umbrella term for chronic bronchitis and emphysema, both lung diseases. Now we’re learning even more about the impact COPD can have on you both today and in the future.
A recent study published in Thorax: An International Journal of Respiratory Medicine found that not only does COPD reduce your quality of life in the present, but it can also shorten your overall life expectancy by causing excess wear and tear on the cells in your body.
Researchers studied blood samples of 46,396 people and determined the amount of each person’s state of cell erosion by measuring the length of their telomeres, the ends of chromosomes that protect each cell’s DNA. As you age your cells divide. Each time they divide, a piece of the telomeres is cut off until there is nothing left. Once the protective tips have disappeared, the cells stop functioning, ultimately leading to organs shutting down and death. This process occurs naturally over time, but the study demonstrated an accelerated rate in people with COPD.
Why Does This Happen?
Smoking is the most common source of COPD, but the disease can also be caused by genetics or long-term exposure to other lung irritants such as pollution, dust, or chemical fumes. As COPD progresses, damage to the lungs makes it more difficult to breathe. “In people predisposed to COPD, this damage accumulates over time, leading to progressive loss of cells,” says Antonello Punturieri, MD, PhD, program director and medical officer in the division of lung diseases at the National Institute of Health’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. “The final result is an organ — the lung — without the capacity to sustain the respiratory needs of the body.”
In addition to immediate damage to the lungs, COPD causes damage to other parts of the body by way of a downstream effect, explains Keith Robinson, MD, MS, a member of the COPD Foundation Clinical Advisory Committee (CAC) and a board-certified pulmonologist and critical care medicine intensivist at North Broward Hospital in Florida. White blood cells are produced in response to damage that occurs because of COPD inflammation. In order for these white blood cells to be created, existing cells must divide, causing more damage to the telomeres and making cells wear and age faster than they normally would.
(Part two will discuss more of the direct impact of COPD/Asthma, as well as how COPD/Asthma may link to other health conditions.)
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‘Notes to Know about COPD/Asthma’ will continue to feature writings from medical folks and caretakers who share insights into the world of what may be going on in the world of COPD/Asthma. ‘Notes to Know about COPD/Asthma’ can be found at either wheezingaway.com or within the Facebook page, COPD Travels.
Remember – ‘a person without good breathing, is a person without a good life’, so let’s do what we can, to learn what we can, to improve what we can.
I bid to all – smiles, prayers, blessings and steady breathing – Mr. William.
(Copyright@2017, CrossDove Writer through wheezingaway.com – no part of this write may be used or copied without written permission.)
NOTES: Sometimes we share what may seem like medical information, but we are only giving descriptions and highlights of various aspects of having COPD and/or asthma and no way do we ever want our information to be considered medical treatment type of information, always consult your physician for more, clearer and more medical founded information.